Tag Archives: tabasco peppers

Natalie’s Hot Sauce

I know you’re probably disappointed that this isn’t a cake post.  I’ll get to that Friday! :)  In the mean time, I’ll catch you up on more pepper posts.

Natalie's HOT!! Sauce Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

As you saw yesterday, I started out with a whole bunch of these Tabasco peppers.  They are HOT!! and so is this sauce.  As much as I love hot sauce, I figured it was about time that I came up with my own recipe.  Thus, Natalie’s HOT!! Sauce was born.

Tabasco Peppers | Oysters & Pearls

The third bag of mystery peppers turned out to be Brazilian Starfish peppers.  They are so pretty, so I added a few of them to the hot sauce too.

Brazilian Starfish Peppers | Oysters & Pearls

The flesh of these Starfish peppers tastes like a spicy-sweet bell pepper, and is awesome.  The membranes bring the heat, though.  They are HOT!! too.

I diced them up and threw them in a Hugh Jass pot with the Tabasco peppers I had left, along with some tomato paste, canned roasted tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, sugar, salt, and onion, and painfully taste-tested my way into hot sauce Heaven.

The Makings of Hot Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Natalie’s HOT!! Sauce (makes a whole lot of hot sauce)


– 3.5 pounds fresh tabasco peppers, washed & de-stemmed
– 5 Brazilian Starfish peppers, washed, de-stemmed, & diced without seeds (could substitute red bell pepper)
– one 14.5 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
– two six ounce cans tomato paste
– 7 cloves of garlic, peeled
– 3.5 cups apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)
– 1 teaspoons kosher salt
– 1 cup light brown sugar
– 1 Vidalia onion, diced


Place all ingredients in a Hugh Jass pot and cook for an hour or so.  When everything is nice and soft, use an immersion blender to blend everything up.  Fill pre-sanitzed jars with sauce, leaving 1/4″ of headspace.  Can keep the jars in the refrigerator, or you can process in a hot water bath (which is what I did).  The combination of plenty of peppers, tomatoes, sugar, and vinegar should be shelf stable for one year due to the high acidity (I processed these for 15 minutes).  I realize not everyone will make hot sauce in such massive quantities, so feel free to adjust these measurements to your taste and a smaller amount of peppers.  I just added to the amount I had and tasted until it was good to me, and now I’m sharing what I did with you.

Natalie's Hot Sauce  | Oysters & Pearls

The day I made this, I took our friend Richard a jar labeled as “Natalie’s HOT!! Sauce.”  We were all over at his house after an engagement party for another friend, and all the boys were dipping chips into it like salsa and yelling “It hurts so good!”

I’d say that’s man-speak for “It’s delicious, and very spicy.”

Natalie's HOT Sauce Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

The rest are off to storage to last us the rest of the year!  My father-in-law, Bruce, gave me this old Jello box.  I love it!

Natalie's Hot Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

We can’t wait to try some of my hot sauce on oysters this fall.  Do you have a homemade hot sauce recipe?  What’s your favorite way to use it?


Southern Pepper Sauce

I feel like it’s been ages since I’ve blogged… I guess it has been a few days!  I hope everyone had a fantastic Labor Day Weekend.  As I’m sure you could tell by my Instagram, we had a fantastic time in Charleston.  I’m ready to go back again!  If you were following along, I’ll be popping back in later in the week to share a how-to on the special/hilarious/ridiculous cake I baked for the bride’s bachelorette party. ;)

But alas, it’s back to the grind today.  So to spice up all of our first days back to work, I’m sharing a hot pepper sauce recipe.

Pepper sauce is as ubiquitous in the South as sweet tea, and I challenge you to find a Southern cook who serves collards without it.

Southern HOT Pepper Sauce  | Oysters & Pearls

I have saved up bourbon and whiskey bottles all year in preparation for pepper sauce making.  The time finally came, and I only had three saved up.  There’s only two of us here, and we only drink whiskey/bourbon in the fall and winter (usually), so cut me some slack.  On that note, we should probably stock up for football season…

Anyway, I had a ton of tabasco peppers thanks to my coworker, Donna.  She asked me a couple weeks ago if I wanted some peppers.  Her mother grows them and had a whole lot of extra.  I obviously said I’d love to have some.  She came to work a week later with 3 grocery bags full!  Two bags were chock full of tabasco peppers. The other bag was full of another type, but that’s another story and another recipe for another day.  :)

Tabasco Peppers | Oysters & Pearls

I spent a whole day with these peppers two weekends ago.  First I washed them, and while I had them in the sink and in the colander I de-stemmed them.  I didn’t wear gloves for this but you might want to, just in case.  Just hold the pepper in one hand, and quickly twist off the stem with your other hand.  They should pop right off.

Stemmed Tabasco Peppers | Oysters & Pearls

Once you’ve got them all clean and stemless, you’re ready to stuff bottles.  Fill a clean bottle (of any kind) about half-way or 3/4 of the way full of peppers.  Meanwhile, bring a pot of white or apple cider vinegar (your choice – I used apple cider vinegar, 5% acidity) to a boil.  Once you have your bottles stuffed and the vinegar is boiling, pour the vinegar into the bottles over the peppers.  Fill to the top, and add a drop or two of olive oil.  That’s it!

Whiskey Bottle Full of Tabasco Peppers for Southern Pepper Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

These are shelf stable, and can even be “refilled” once or twice with more boiling vinegar and a couple more drops of olive oil.

How to Make Southern Pepper Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

I use a flask funnel to make filling the jars a little easier, but it would be much easier with a bigger funnel.  They sell them all over the place.  I’m just too cheap to buy another one to make my life easier.

Blanton's Whiskey Bottle of Pepper Sauce  Oysters & Pearls

You can use any kind of peppers for pepper sauce, and you can mix up different types of peppers.  I will warn you: pepper sauce made with tabasco peppers is HOT.  Like, really hot.  So use it sparingly.

Speaking of using it, I use it on all the usual suspects: collards, mustards, turnips, and peas, but it’s especially delicious on South in a Bowl! {click here for recipe}

Pepper sauce is found on tables from home kitchens to the finest of dining establishments around the South, and no true Southern meal is really complete without it.  At least, in my  book.

Southern Hot Pepper Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

What’s your favorite pepper to use in pepper sauce?  Do you use it in any unusual ways?


Spicy Pickled Okra

If you know me well, heck if you know me at all, then you know I <3 spicy and I <3 pickled.  Pickled okra is one of my favorites.  So as soon as I started canning a few years ago, pickled okra was first on the list.  I’ve been using this recipe ever since then, and I’m super excited to share it with you today, because it’s the bomb.com.

Spicy Pickled Okra | Oysters & Pearls

Spicy Pickled Okra (an evolving version of a recipe from Emeril Lagasse from 2001 on Food Network)

– fresh baby okra (2 to 3 inch pods are best)
– 1 quart white vinegar
– 6 tablespoons kosher salt
– 8 peeled garlic cloves
– 16 fresh hot peppers
– 1/3 cup whole mustard seeds
– 1/3 cup whole dill seeds

Note: sanitize your jars and lids in a dishwasher ahead of time.  Keep them hot in the dishwasher, or keep them warm in the microwave until you’re ready to pack and fill them.

Another note: Before you start anything, start heating up your canning/processing pot to boiling.  It takes about 30 minutes for me.

Wash okra under cold running water and trim the stems if necessary.  Soak okra in ice water for 1 hour, then drain and pat dry.  Divide the okra between sanitized pint jars and pack them, first as full as possible cap side down, then fill in with okra cap side up.  Evenly divide the garlic cloves, peppers, mustard and dill seed between your packed jars.

In a large pot, bring vinegar and salt to a rolling boil.  Ladle the hot vinegar mixture over the packed jars, covering okra by at least 1/4 inch and leaving 1/2 inch of head space.  Tap the jars or use a chopstick to jiggle the okra around to make sure you get all the bubbles out of them.  Wipe the rims clean, screw the jar lids on, and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove to a towel, and the jars will seal and pop as they cool down.  Let them sit until they’re room temperature, and do your best to wait four whole weeks before eating any of them.

Fresh Okra | Oysters & Pearls

We bought this okra at Harvest Moon last weekend.  But we did have TWO whole okra pods from our garden that got included in one of the jars!  Ha.

Homegrown Peppers | Oysters & Pearls

We grew these tabasco peppers from peppers my aunt gave me.  They are the first ones we’ve picked!  Should be plenty more where that came from.  We’ve had better luck in the pepper department than we have in the okra department.

Packing Jars with Okra | Oysters & Pearls

The Before: Packed jars full of beautiful okra (above) and the After: delicious pickled okra (below).

Spicy Pickled Okra Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

Author’s recommendation: these are TDF in a bloody mary…

And on that note, happy Friday!